Two people love each other when they know they should not. Their parents' and friends' pleas, their social backgrounds and reputation, their careers; everything is used to make them give each other up. Flattery, lies and threats finally drive Frank to despair and Karin to treason. But it is not due to their parents' hatred, nor to any greed for inherited wealth. Rather, the mere conjecture expressed by the authorities is enough to set off a merciless mechanism.